CFP – Book Chapters ‘Gender in Action Films’ (1980 now)

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BOOK – Call for Chapters – Gender in Action Films

Book title: Gender in Action Films (1980-now)

Publisher: Emerald Publishing

Date of Publication: 2022

Editors: Dr Renee Middlemost (University of Wollongong, Australia) and Dr Steven Gerrard (Leeds Beckett University, UK)

2022 sees the fortieth anniversary of cinematic action icon, John Rambo. From his first outing as an embittered, lonely, scarred relic of the Vietnam War to his latest gung-ho, all-guns blazing, machete-chopping, dynamiting Trump-value supporting outing, Rambo remains an important part of the action film.

But in those forty years, not only has Rambo’s political outlook changed, so has the action film. More expansive, expensive, and certainly as divisive than ever, films such as the Die Hard franchise and The Expendables trilogy offer nostalgia-laden views of their action commanders, whilst the films of Jason Statham offer a new type of male action hero, where vulnerability remains key. Yet, the rise in popularity of the female action hero since the turn of the millennium, shows that with films such as Salt, In the Blood and Atomic Blonde, characters like Hanna, Katniss Everdeen and Diana Prince, and actors Angelina Jolie, Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez and Michelle Yeoh that the genre and all its offshoots are worthy of further gender investigation.

Following on from Yvonne Tasker’s Spectacular Bodies: Gender, Genre and the Action Cinema, female-centric Action Chicks: New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture (Sherrie J. Inness) and Jeffrey A. Brown’s Beyond Bombshells: The New Action Heroine in Popular Culture or the reclamation of masculinity in Crank It Up – Jason Statham: Star! this Call for Chapters is a chance to explore how gender is linked to, and helps shape, the action film genre.

Areas of research could include (but are not limited to):

-Female action heroes

-Male action heroes
-Individual case studies
-Transgender characters and performers
-Transnational gender heroes
-The ‘Star’ and ‘Star’ images
-Politics and gender
-Acting and legitimising action heroes
-Audiences and gender approaches to watching action hero films
-Transmedia action heroes

Submission details: We would like you to submit a 250-word abstract, accompanied by a short biographical statement plus affiliation details. The deadline for chapter abstract submission is: 12 April 2020. Please address any enquiries to both Dr Renee Middlemost ( and Dr Steven Gerrard (  We’ll get back to you as soon as possible, and once the date for submissions has passed.

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